Writing clips and photos of Northern Arizona collared peccaries
Javelina, javelina Spaniards named you.
You’re so like a mystic living here awhile.
Is it only cause they’re lonely
folks have blamed you
For digging up their tulips by the mile?
One of our most welcoming, adaptable and flexible neighbors is the legendary Collared Peccary (Pecari tajucu—an Indian name for “makes many paths through the woods”). They’ve let us move in on their turf, without filing a lawsuit, so let’s meet this Arizona population of 60,000.
No one likes to be called a pig. Even James Cromwell’s real pig’s name was “Babe.” Not so Gregory Peccary.
Pigs developed in the Old World. Three varieties of peccaries developed in a parallel line in the New World.
Old World pigs released in North America became wild boars—so peccaries aren’t related to boars either. Boars have tusks—lower canine teeth that forever grow upward and outward. Collared peccaries’ dominant teeth are upper canines (I call them “corner teeth”}, a characteristic shared by some deer. They have no upper incisors to speak of (front teeth), also similar to deer .
And since the biological systematics are in dispute, I